Latest Release Updates – 21st May 2020

Welcome to the latest Release Update blog post.

It’s really starting to feel like we are approaching summer now as the temperature picks up; if you have a garden, make sure you are getting out there to get a well-needed dose of vitamin D!

Speaking of heat, our developers have been on fire as per usual and have produced a great release that’s gone live today. Now although this release is a fantastic one; it’s mostly internal bits, bobs and bug fixes that you won’t see on the surface. With that in mind, I’m using this blog post primarily as a roundup of the most recent important messages that have gone out in StoreFeeder. I want to ensure you haven’t missed anything that you all should know.


Amazon – Personal Data Rules

If you weren’t already aware, Amazon has asked all 3rd party integrators (like StoreFeeder), to remove/anonymise all personally identifiable data (PII) held on Amazon orders 30 days after an order’s dispatch date.

Please see this article from Tamebay about this issue: https://tamebay.com/2019/07/amazon-demand-personally-identifiable-information-deleted.html 

This would include data such as:
•           First name and Surname
•           Email Address
•           Phone Number
•           Shipping and Billing Address
•           Postcode
•           Any order notes
•           VAT numbers

At StoreFeeder we feel this is wrong and would most likely make our sellers lives harder. As such, we have been fighting this decision on your behalf with Amazon for the past 12 months; we even held a webinar not long ago that was attended by a number of StoreFeeder customers to explain what Amazon were proposing and listened to the views our customers had. These views were passed to Amazon but unfortunately seemed to make little to no difference.

Unfortunately, Amazon has now insisted that we do start to remove/anonymise this PII data. It goes without saying that we don’t want to put any of our customer’s businesses at risk, so reluctantly we will be releasing an update to the software next week to comply with Amazon’s demands.

This update will remove/anonymise PII data from all Amazon orders that have been dispatched more than 30 days ago. Please note this will include ALL previous orders.


Support System Migration

On the evening of the 19th May, StoreFeeder swapped to a new support system software. For those of you that log tickets via email, you will likely see no difference other than possibly a different email address on the replies initially.

Those using the support portal will likely be prompted to register a new password, please contact us if you are unable to log in for any reason following the transfer.

Our support system is also linked to our knowledge base as well so if there are any issues with them (dead links, formatting etc.) know that we are working on it and hopefully should have any issues ironed out in due time.


New Feature – Sort by Notes

When creating a pickwave we’ve now added the option to filter by whether orders have notes on or not; what’s better is that the information in that column also tells you what kind of note is on the order, so for example, you cant create a pickwave of just Etsy orders that have special instructions on them.

The notes column is found on the far right of the outstanding orders grid as shown below:


Finally….

There have been some great new features and fixes implemented this release and we hope you find them useful in one way or another.

As always we’ll keep working hard to provide you with the best service we can.

From all of us here at StoreFeeder, happy selling.

The StoreFeeder Team

Latest Release Updates – 4th May 2020

Welcome to the latest Release Update blog post.

How’s everybody’s life on lockdown going? It would seem that the weather is picking up recently, which is something nice for us to look at through the windows of our isolation chambers!

All this spare time might mean that you may find yourself looking for even more that you can get out of StoreFeeder, of which there is certainly a lot on offer; perhaps there may even be something in today’s release that may take your fancy! Our knowledge base is a good place to start, and if you struggle setting anything up, our friendly support team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

As always, there has been a lot of work in the background but there have been some great updates and new features released this month, the highlights of which are below:


Relisting Deleted eBay Listings

Something that could only be done manually on StoreFeeder was relisting your deleted eBay listings. In this release, we have made it so that this can be done automatically if you so wish.

IMPORTANT: Allowing us to do this will mean that you may receive listing fees from eBay, but they won’t be any different to if you were doing it yourself.

This new feature can be switched on alongside the ‘Automatic Relisting’ feature we already had in StoreFeeder. You can do so by going to your eBay integration and looking for the ‘eBay Specific Settings’ section on the ‘Channel Preferences’ tab, which will be the first that opens by default when you open your integration anyway.

For this to work, you have to have ‘Automatic Relisting’ switched on. If you do not have this option switched on then ‘Re-List Deleted Listings’ will be automatically switched off and the option to turn it on will be greyed out.


WooCommerce Download Listings Button

A fair few of our integrations now have a ‘Download Listings Now’ function so that you can import any fresh listings you may have recently created on channel, into StoreFeeder. Up until this release this had not been the case for WooCommerce, but that’s all changed now.

You can find the ‘Download Listings Now’ on your WooCommerce integration towards the bottom of the ‘Channel Preferences’ tab under the ‘Stock Management’ section as shown below:


Etsy Listing Import/Export

Bulk editing your Etsy listings just gone a whole lot easier as this release sees the already existing ‘Listing Import/Export’ feature being extended to our Etsy integration.

For more information on using the ‘Listing Import/Export’ feature, please see our knowledgebase article here:

https://support.storefeeder.com/KnowledgeBase/Details/?id=99-02.-How-to-use-the-Listing-Import%2FExport-Feature


Finally….

There have been some great new features and fixes implemented this release and we hope you find them useful in one way or another.

As always we’ll keep working hard to provide you with the best service we can.

From all of us here at StoreFeeder, happy selling.

The StoreFeeder Team

The Top Three Things You Can do to Enhance your eBay listings

The new normal, is anything but normal. We hope that you are all finding a path through this peculiar time and that you are managing to keep your eCommerce business going one way or another.

At StoreFeeder we are trying to help you navigate the pandemic and one idea we had was to ask some professionals for some advice to help with trading through this challenging time.

Enter Clare Haines, who is the owner of Network Executives, a company that specialises in consulting with eCommerce companies to help them grow the business.

Clare’s track record in this arena is excellent, having founded an online lingerie company in 2009 that went on to turnover more £7m per annum.

So, in order to give you grasp on getting the best from eBay, Clare has kindly shared with us the top three things you need to be considering with regards to your eBay listings. And they are as follows:

Tip 1
Check your item specifics – Most people create their listings then leave them to bring in the sales. However, eBay are constantly updating item specifics and to ensure that they are performing correctly and mapped correctly in the listing, you need to keep up to date with eBay’s changes. Creating the listing and not updating it and revising it, is one of the sure-fire ways to reduce that listings capacity to generate your sales.

Tip 2
Check your Titles – Again as with item specifics, people create a title and never look at it again. Creating titles for your listings is very important and generally people do not think, but when you scan some listings you will see some very basic information is missing. My advice is to create uniformed listings that contain the following: Name of item, type of item, specific keywords and flow. The first four words are the most important. So, for example of one my listings would be: ‘Panache Emily Balconette Bra‘  Try to use as much language as possible to ensure that you are really covering the item and leaving no doubts with someone searching as to what the item is.

Tip 3
Photography – Use manufacturer images if possible but be aware of model rights. If you take your own images you may need to invest in a small back drop – white is the best, in order to professionally present your products. Your product pictures need to be the absolute best that they can be – clear images showing the product, and its uses if possible. You are allowed up to 12 images per SKU, it would therefore be silly to not take full advantage of this. Your product in situ is always a good idea too. We need to remember that a lot of customers do not have natural visualisation skills, therefore the more you can demonstrate and show them, the closer you are to getting a sale. 

Things are going to change and the culture of online purchasing is going to grow exponentially, people who would not have used the internet to buy before will be using it now and that will be set to continue into the future.

One of our customers told us that listing and ensuring all of the data is presented as it should be to work in harmony with the market place and search algorithms is the most essential part of his business.

Try out the points above and let us know how you get on.

Network Executives helps customers get the best sales and growth out of their eBay channels and Clare can be contacted on: 07920424163.

COVID-19 – What are the Marketplaces doing for sellers?

It is an uncertain time in the eCommerce world. Some sellers are seeing big spikes in orders as Self Isolation boredom kicks in, while others have seen sales virtually disappear or they have taken the decision to shut their online business for the short term.

For the latter, this is a tough period, so what are the marketplaces like eBay and Amazon doing to support their sellers?

We took a look around their support pages and various news feeds to try and gather some information.

Unlike Amazon, eBay are reliant on their sellers in order to make money themselves (advertising aside), so you would expect them to be a little more “customer focussed” than their main rival.

eBay has a good support page for sellers to access information on a variety of questions. The support page can be accessed here

They also have a dedicated page for advice to sellers during the COVID-19 period which can be found here

Here are a few articles and help pages that we found:

Refunds on Shop Subscriptions if you close your eBay shop

For April and May (either or both), if you hide all your fixed price listings for the full month using the “holiday settings”, eBay will credit back your shop subscription fee for that month.

If you do the same for part of a month (13 days or more between the 1st and 25th of a month) then eBay will credit 50% of the subscription fee.

You need to “opt in” to be eligible for this and details on how to do this are found in the eBay statement in the link below.

You can see the full statement here

Payment holidays

eBay has announced a 30-day payment holiday for 300,000 business sellers registered on its site.

“We want to relieve some of the pressure you’re telling us you’re facing and give you the flexibility needed to sustain your business.”

More details on this can be found here

Fair Pricing

eBay has seen a tiny minority of sellers attempting to exploit other users at this difficult time by listing items at unreasonably inflated prices. eBay are clear that they do not support this activity and have been quick to remove such listings and have suspended some seller accounts.

“Our teams are working around the clock to ensure our site remains a safe and fair place to buy and sell, and so far we have removed over 350,000 Coronavirus related items and suspended hundreds of rogue accounts.”

The full article is available here

Changes to the out-of-stock duration

This is an uncertain time as suppliers face their own struggles to supply goods to eBay sellers. To allow for this, eBay have announced changes to the time period you can have your listing “out of stock”.

You can currently have your “Good ‘Til Cancelled” listings that have 0 inventory hidden from search results for 90 days before they will end and you lose sales history.

eBay have now doubled this period to 180 days to allow for increased supply issues during this period.

More information can be found here

Unlike eBay, Amazon sell and ship their own range of goods so the impact to them of reduced seller performance is not as great as it is for eBay.

We have already seen FBA inbound shipments greatly reduced except for items that are classed as “essential”.

That said, Amazon have offered greater assistance, more lenience and guidance to its sellers to still fulfill orders through SFP (Seller Fulfilled Prime) and Merchant Fulfilled orders. More information on this can be found here

Relaxed Policies for Shipping Related Performance Metrics

Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on sellers, Amazon have taken steps to reduce the impact on the “health” of your Seller Account.

They have relaxed current policies for shipping related performance metrics, specifically those relating to late shipping or canceling orders.

In the help article, Amazon have specifically answered the following questions:

1. What should I do if I am unable to fulfill any orders?
2. How do I cancel an order that I accepted, but I am suddenly unable to fulfill?
3. What do I do if a buyer requests that I cancel an order?

The full help article can be seen here

Amazon (Europe) Referral and FBA Fee changes

Amazon have just announced that referral and FBA fee changes go into effect on April 1, 2020, except where otherwise noted. For complete details, visit 2020 Referral and Fulfilment by Amazon fee changes summary (Europe) 

Temporary pause in removal orders and long-term storage fee waiver

To continue to be able to support the FBA operations for essential items, Amazon have temporarily paused removal operations in some of their fulfilment centres. This could mean that sellers stock is now “locked” in an FBA centre and unable to be sold.

You can continue to create removal orders, but there will be delays in completing the requests.

To compensate for this, Amazon are waiving the April 15 long-term storage fees for inventory stored in theUnited Kingdom FBA centres.

Further information can be found here

Temporary return window extension

To give customers more time to return items during this period, Amazon have temporarily extended the return window of their returns policy.

For orders on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, Amazon.nl, and Amazon.com.tr, most items ordered on any of these websites between 15 February 2020 and 30 April 2020 can now be returned until 31 May 2020.

More details can be found here


In these unprecedented times it is good to see the marketplaces doing their bit to help their sellers.

Each marketplace is offering good advice but some of the help needs you to be proactive and register, so please look at all the advice and take the necessary actions to help your business through this period.

One again, the links to the main help pages for each marketplace can be found by clicking the links below:

Amazon
eBay

Stay safe and take care.

COVID-19 and Carriers

As the COVID-19 epidemic continues to develop around the world, the carriers’ ability to deliver your orders is also changing.

As a helpful guide to keep you up to date, we have the links below to all the major UK carriers so you can get the latest information on shipments:

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

Some tips for running your Warehouse during Coronavirus Lockdown period

The current Government advice is clear that online retail is open and encouraged. This, of course, means that the warehouses and logistic infrastructures behind the online sales also must remain open. That, in most cases, requires people to be at work.

Each online business should evaluate if they should remain operational or make the difficult decision to close for the foreseeable future.

If you decide to continue, it goes without saying that to get through this period, changes to working practices need to be maintained, people should work from home where possible, face to face meetings should be done via video or conference calls.

But a warehouse picker or a packer cannot work from home and the latest Government guidelines allow people to travel to and from work if they cannot work from home.

It is therefore more important than ever to ensure that we do all we can to keep up our duty of care to staff who are in the workplace.

These include:

Hand Washing

Giving all staff the facility to wash their hands, or use hand sanitiser, on entry into the building, and when leaving. This should be as close as possible to the entrance without the need to open and close internal doors if possible.

Making sure there are opportunities for staff to wash their hands and/or sanitise regularly throughout the day is also important.

Workstations

Many staff will have a workstation of their own anyway, but where staff share stations, say at the end of a shift etc, then extra care should be taken to make sure all areas of the workstation are wiped down with disinfectant before the station is passed over. Allowing extra time at the end of shifts to do this is important

Work Tools

It is easy to forget in normal circumstances that many people handle various tools throughout the working day “Lend me your knife”, “pass me that tape gun” etc are commonly heard throughout the day.

Provision to provide individuals with their own personal equipment should be made to minimise the sharing culture. And if items do need to be shared or handed over at the end of a shift, they to should be wiped down and sanitised.

As warehouses have more and more technology inside of them, with PDA’s, keyboards, touch screens and computer mice common items in today’s warehouses. The same rules apply, keep to your own personal items through your shift and ensure that devices etc are sanitised before they are handed over at the end of a shift.

PPE

Where possible, employers should try and provide disposable gloves, face masks etc to ensure that they are minimising the possible spread through hand and face contact.

Above all common sense is the key and ensuring that your staff adhere to the increased cleaning.

Employees

Of course, the health and safety of staff is the priority and of utmost importance. But warehouses still need to operate.

There are a few things we can consider to help our staff be as safe as possible:

  • Encourage staff to avoid public transport where possible. Allow them more flexible start and finish times to allow increased travel time.
  • Offer longer or shorter days. This could minimise crowding in the warehouse,
  • Rearrange packing benches etc to ensure staff remain the recommended 2m apart as much as possible in line with recommended social distancing.
  • Look at splitting your operation into multiple shifts. This will lower the number of staff in the warehouse at any time enabling you to continue operations but minimise staff contact.

Flexibility during this unprecedented period is the key to doing all you can to minimise the risks to your staff and offer the duty of care that you owe them.

The country as a whole is working together to get through this, and consumers are more realistic with their demands and understand that deliveries may be delayed or take longer during this time.

Warehouses, carriers and delivery operatives are all working very hard, but all with reduced staff numbers of operating hours so is not unreasonable to inform customers that orders may take slightly longer than normal.

Latest Release Updates – 24th March

Welcome to the latest Release Update blog post.

Understandably there is a lot of concern surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for many businesses out there and I hope each and every one of you are managing to push through these tough times.

Despite these troublesome times, StoreFeeder is in the very fortunate position where we have still somewhat been able to continue business as usual and bring you an update today that’s full of exciting new features.

As always, there has been a lot of work in the background but there have been some great updates and new features released this month, the highlights of which are below:


Shopify Integration Update


As you may or may not know, Shopify are making changes to the way they interact with third-party software; it’s likely that you would have been contacted by Shopify about this if you have an integration for Shopify set up on your StoreFeeder account.

Some of our users have been in contact with us, asking what exactly we are doing about this? Well, the answer is, we’re making the changes necessary to make sure there isn’t interrupted service for Shopify users on StoreFeeder.

In fact, as of this update, we have already rolled out the first set of changes to the integration. Fret not though; for our users, there will be no noticeable difference in the way the integration works so there’s nothing for you to be doing differently.

We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with the changes we make to keep up to date with Shopify. The next time it’s mentioned will likely be the completion of the changes in any case, so I look forward to giving you that good news then!


BluePark Safe Place

Good news Bluepark users! We now import your Bluepark customer’s designated safe place as part of the order import.

When an order is imported, if a safe place has been specified on channel, it will now appear in the ‘Special Instructions’ of the order in StoreFeeder.


Adding Additional Information to DPD Labels

For our DPD users, you can now add additional information of your choice to your DPD labels, if you so wish. A single option from the list below can be selected on each of your DPD shipping methods:

  • SKU’s
  • Order Number
  • Order Number and SKU’s
  • Order Number and Packaging Size
  • Order Number and Shipping Method
  • Order Number and Order Weight
  • Order Number, Packaging Size and Order Weight
  • None

You can choose to have additional information on your DPD labels by editing your existing DPD shipping method’s and selecting one of the options from the “Show Additional Information” dropdown box pictured below:


Resetting Purchase Orders

Some purchase orders are made over a period of time; say you raise one this month but that purchase order may stay open until late April and in that month period you may find you need to order extra items from the supplier. Originally, StoreFeeder wouldn’t let you reset the status of a purchase order, meaning you couldn’t modify or resend purchase orders that had already been sent. As of this update, that is no longer the case.

We’ve added a button to the ‘Edit Purchase Order’ page that will allow you to reset a purchase order’s status back to ‘Draft’ as long as it isn’t in ‘Completed’ state. When in ‘Draft’ status, the order will be amendable and re-sendable.

The handy new button can be found by opening any Purchase order that isn’t in ‘Completed’ or already in ‘Draft’ status. Once on the ‘Edit Purchase Order’ page, you’ll be able to see the ‘Reset Purchase Order Status’ button in the top right corner of the page as shown below:


Finally….

There have been some great new features and fixes implemented this release and we hope you find them useful in one way or another.

As always we’ll keep working hard to provide you with the best service we can.

From all of us here at StoreFeeder, happy selling.

The StoreFeeder Team

Contingency Planning for Businesses

This is great advice anyway, but even more prevalent in this uncertain time.

Should you need to close your eBay or Amazon stores temporarily, be this for holidays or for other business suspension reasons, there are some useful tools available to help you suspend sales without losing stock and data information from StoreFeeder.

In the event that you need to cease dispatching orders due to the coronavirus, or a break in business activities, we’d recommend for eBay and Amazon that you enable Holiday Mode as this will be the quickest way to stop receiving new orders.

Amazon has a knowledge base for this help:
https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/G200135620

eBay has a knowledge base for this here:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/help/selling/ebay-stores/managing-ebay-shop?id=4090

Some web stores will let you put your store into “Maintenance Mode” but for all other channels and web stores that do not provide this function, we’d recommend importing a Max inventory of 0 against all of your listings to ensure the listings cannot be bought but that your inventory stays correct.

BigCommerce has a knowledge base for this here:
https://support.bigcommerce.com/s/article/Maintenance-Mode

Shopify allows you to pause your site, their knowledgebase is here:
https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/your-account/pause-close-store

Magento2 has a guide for this here:
https://devdocs.magento.com/guides/v2.3/install-gde/install/cli/install-cli-subcommands-maint.html

WooCommerce lets you set up a coming soon page, guide here:
https://woocommerce.com/posts/how-to-set-up-a-coming-soon-page-for-woocommerce/#

The Support Team at StoreFeeder will be happy to talk you through these options if you need to activate them.

StoreFeeder COVID-19 Update

Good afternoon readers, the following message regarding the ongoing pandemic is directly from the Managing Director of StoreFeeder, Brian Williamson.


Due to the current situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we wanted to take this opportunity to update you on how we are managing this within StoreFeeder.

Day to Day Activities & Support

We understand that the world can be unpredictable and there are many different factors that can influence how StoreFeeder and your business work. Due to this we have stringent strategies in place to ensure that our business runs as usual during the next few months.

Our staff have been provided with the practical and technological support in order to continue safely working from home. Calls will still be answered, through the use of our cloud telephone system and can still be accessed through our normal business hours.

Support tickets will remain active and monitored, so please continue to report any technical issues through support@storefeeder.com email or through the Support portal as usual.

Meetings

Following the latest Government guidelines, face to face meetings have been cancelled and we will contact you directly if you are due to meet with us in the near future. In such a scenario, we will ensure we best utilise other systems such as Skype for business or telephone conferencing.

Our staff

It goes without saying that our staff are very important to us and please be reassured that we are following all the current advice and guidelines from the Government and the World Health Organisation regarding COVID-19.

Please be assured that our number one priority is the health and safety of our employees and clients whilst trying to minimise any disruption to businesses.


Please feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions or concerns regarding your business and StoreFeeder. We will continue to ensure communication channels remain open during these difficult times.

We appreciate that you took the time to read this and take care.

Brian Williamson

Managing Director – StoreFeeder

Latest Release Updates – 6th February 2020

Welcome to the latest Release Update blog post.

Is it just me or has it been colder than December so far this month? I walked out of my house to snow just the other day! I’ve also seen plenty more accidents on the roads recently so be careful out there folks.

As always, there has been a lot of work in the background but there have been some great updates and new features released this month, the highlights of which are below:


EKM Integration Update

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR EXISTING EKM USERS

As this is a change that would impact existing EKM users heavily, we made an effort to make sure we contacted all our current EKM users prior to this update going out so it’s likely that you have already made the change over to our new EKM integration, in which case the below is old news to you!

In order to keep supporting EKM with their recent updates we’ve had to make a few changes; enough to warrant creating a new version of the integration entirely!

This means that if you were already using EKM, you’ll need to deactivate the old version of the integration and create a new one. The old integration will no longer work so it’s pretty essential that, if this hasn’t already been done, it gets done sooner rather than later.

Setting up the new EKM integration is even easier than it’s predecessor. All you need to do is click the ‘Connect to EKM‘ button (shown below). From here, you’ll be taken to EKM’s login page where, once you’ve logged in, all that’s needed to do is to allow us access to connect your EKM store to StoreFeeder.

Once you’ve given us access, you’ll be taken back to StoreFeeder where you’ll now see all the options for the integration you’re already familiar with. You’ll need to switch these options on or off depending on your own preference. Once this is all done, you can set this integration to ‘Active‘.

After you’re done, make sure you click the ‘Save‘ button at the bottom of the page, or everything you’ve just done will be reverted!


Xero Tax Rate Mapping

As we carry on making improvements to our Xero integration we’ve listened to feedback and found that something we were missing in StoreFeeder was the ability to declare your Xero tax rates on exported invoices/purchase orders from StoreFeeder.

Well now you can do so by mapping your Xero tax rates to your StoreFeeder tax classes; you can even do this on a per-country basis if you have certain countries that are a little different with taxes.

To do this, you’ll first need to import all your existing Xero tax rates into StoreFeeder. You can do this by opening up your Xero integration, going to the ‘Xero Tax Rates Mapping‘ and clicking the green ‘+ Download Xero Tax Rates‘ button (shown below).

Once you’ve imported these into StoreFeeder, you can use the dropdowns on the same page to map your Xero tax rates to your StoreFeeder tax classes. Once you’ve chosen which class you’d like to match to which rates, be sure to click the green ‘Add Mapping‘ button, to the right of the dropdown fields, in order to save the mapping.

If you haven’t already set up tax classes in StoreFeeder you can do so by using our guide here:
https://support.storefeeder.com/KnowledgeBase/Details/?id=215-01.-Adding-a-new-Tax-Class

If you would like to map tax rates differently for certain countries you can do so by using the ‘Tax Rates Country Specific Mapping‘ tab on the left-hand side of the Xero integration page.


Finally….

There have been some great new features and fixes implemented this release and we hope you find them useful in one way or another.

As always we’ll keep working hard to provide you with the best service we can.

From all of us here at StoreFeeder, happy selling.

The StoreFeeder Team